A New Stirling Summer Festival

When social entrepreneur Matt McGrandles took ownership of the failing Stirling Highland Games event back in 2013, he set out to not only resurrect this much-needed local cultural sporting event for the area but also use the project as income generation for Ceangail, a social enterprise based in central Scotland.

“I’ve been involved in events for a good few years now,’ explains the Ceangail Director, “and just like any other micro-business trying to grow in today’s harsh financial climate, we needed to create something that captures people’s interest. It’s taken 4 years of hard graft and financial sacrifice but I do believe we will be delivering a cracking festival next year and beyond.”

It’s based on this hard graft and research stats over the 4 years that convinces McGrandles this is the right time to fully launch his new idea in 2018 of the Stirling Summer Festival. The event looks to encourage visitors to a weekend destination and enjoy highland games, a foodie festival, live music and a fringe arts element. With 40% of this year’s visitors being attracted from overseas and almost 50% of online tickets being bought in the UK, you can see there is a great opportunity for the festival to become Stirling’s flagship annual event if, as Matt puts it, “the right people are around the table.”

Ceangail’s creative team have been busy putting the company’s Prospectus together, showcasing its business services, project delivery and Training Academy opportunities for young people. It is encouraging to hear that some of the current Partners have already committed their support to the 2018 event on Saturday, August 18th but there is still much to do according to Matt.

“Our current supporters really like our company ethos and as such continue to support the work we do but to encourage more people to buy tickets to our events we need to build on what we offer at these events and that costs more money. To do this we need more supporters on board who share our vision and wish to be part of our project success.”

One of the big successes at this year’s event on Saturday, August 19th was the expansion of the Foodie Festival. It showcased up to 24 food and drink producers including 4 bars as well as offering 4 hot food options and 2 hot drinks options. Mix in a LIVE walk around and Q & A with the hugely popular MasterChef: The Professional Champion 2016, Gary Maclean and you can appreciate why visitors to the event see great value in what they get for their ticket price. The celebrity Chef coming to the 2018 event has already been confirmed but we have been told we will need to wait a little longer before we find out who it is.

Stirling Summer Festival will be hosted at Stirling Sports Village on Saturday 18th August 2018 so if you are looking for a great day out with an affordable ticket price for families then mark it in your diary. Tickets will go online at the end of December and for further information about supporting the event please email office@ceangail.org

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